A government official in industrial northern Italian city of Turin has asked the local school board to stop fully-veiled women from picking up their children at school because it makes it difficult to identify them as the students' true parents.
The request by Maurizio Marrone - a member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative People of Liberty party - was prompted after Marrone and other mothers had seen some women dressed in full burqas picking up their children from an elementary school in Turin's Barriera di Milano working class neighbourhood.
"Some mothers with children enrolled in the Albert Sabin elementary school in Turin have seen Islamic women wearing the full burqa picking up their children, and I have seen this as well," Marrone said, adding that the burqa made it impossible for teachers to "verify the identity" of those picking up minors.
Marrone went on to call the wearing of the burqa, the traditional dress of fundamentalist Islamic women, "damaging to the dignity of women". Marrone also claims the burqa "slows down the process of integration" for immigrants.
In September 2010, two separate bills were presented in the upper and lower chambers of the Italian parliament which aim to end the wearing of face-covering burqa's in Italy.
Also in September, France voted to ban the burqa. Women there can be fined or jailed if covering their faces in public.